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High-level Hui explores models for shared protection


FRIDAY, JUNE 6, 2014

High-level Hui explores models for shared protection of natural environments

Māori and Aboriginal leaders will be among the speakers at an international Hui exploring the best models for protecting natural environments in Australia and New Zealand.

The Co-governance and Co-management of Parks and Environments Hui will take place at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa in Wellington on June 17 and 18. It will provide an opportunity for Indigenous groups and representatives, parks agencies, land managers, recreation consultants, business leaders and policy makers to discuss co-governance and co-management of land and marine environments.

The event has been jointly organised by Parks Forum and the New Zealand Recreation Association (NZRA). It will be opened by Conservation Minister Hon Dr Nick Smith, with keynote presentations from paramount chief Sir Tumu te Heuheu Tūkino of Ngāti Tūwharetoa and Sir Mark Solomon of Ngāi Tahu.

Keynote addresses will be complemented by workshops hosted by New Zealand and Australian parks organisations and Indigenous leaders, including Dr Matthew Ward, Regional Manager for Natural Resources Alinytjara Wiluara, a branch of the South Australia Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources, and former Māori All Blacks coach Matt Te Pou, of Tuhoe.

NZRA Chief Executive Andrew Leslie says recent Treaty of Waitangi land settlements in New Zealand and the granting of access and land-use rights to Indigenous groups in Australia has highlighted the need for Indigenous leaders and people at all levels of parks management to share knowledge and experiences of how best to co-govern and co-manage land.

“The time is right to for an international Hui to pool knowledge, share experiences, and talk through common challenges and models that are working well,” he says.

Parks Forum’s Chief Executive Margaret Morton says “Though the Australian experience is different from New Zealand, which has the Treaty as a guiding document, we’re interested in sharing our knowledge of taking a joint approach to protecting our natural environment.”

Australia’s 1993 Native Title Act recognises the rights of some Indigenous people to their land that come from their traditional laws and customs, including rights to live on the area, access and use the land historically occupied by Indigenous peoples.

Speakers and workshops will examine a range of outcomes including the experience of the Crown and Waikato-Tainui’s co-management of conservation resources five years on, Ngati Whatua Orakei Reserves Board’s co-governance experience 23 years on, and the current arrangements for Auckland’s new agency for co-governing and co-managing the city’s Maunga or volcanic cones.

The work undertaken to establish Wellington’s Oruaiti Reserve, formerly Point Dorset Reserve, will be the topic for another workshop. It looks at what Treaty settlement has meant for Taranaki Whānui and council partnerships in Wellington. Oruaiti Reserve is the first of several joint management arrangements for reserves in Wellington.

The Australian perspective on joint management of parks and protected areas will be presented by traditional owners and park managers from the Northern Territory, Parks Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia. The workshops and masterclasses will explore what models have worked well and identify how we can all work together more effectively to manage our natural and cultural values.

The Hui will be preceded by an optional field trip to Wellington conservation programmes Matiu (Somes) Island and Zealandia, on Monday June 16.

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